In a country where the popularity of cricket overshadows every other game, achievement of 18-year-old Hima Das in track and field has struck us like a lightning bolt from the blue!
Hima Das, an athlete, hailing from the state of Assam in India has achieved the unthinkable of becoming India’s first gold medallist in a track event at an international stage. She achieved this extraordinary feat at the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) U-20 Championship in Tampere, Finland on Thursday the 12th of July.
Till the end of the first lap, Hima in lane 4 was behind the American athlete, Taylor Mayson and the Australian Ellen Connolly in the adjacent lane next to her at number 5. After the first lap ended, Hima picked up speed and surged ahead at blistering pace leaving behind the Australian the American and the Romanian Andrea Miklos behind to win the race at 51.47 seconds.
Hima Das is the daughter of a farmer who has been brought up in one of the remotest villages in Assam called Nagaon. She loved playing football with her male friends from the neighbourhood in the muddy patches next to the vast rice fields. She always aspired to be a footballer until the time her school teachers advised her to take up athletics.
Hima Das, never worn a pair of running spikes till about two years ago. In fact, the spikes in which she ran in the finale did not bear any fancy tag of any multinational sports and fitness brand. “She was wearing cheap spikes, but she won gold in the 100 and 200. She ran like the wind. I hadn’t seen such talent in ages,” remarked Nipon Das, Hima’s coach.
Hima’s astounding win with all the odds stacked against her can also be used as a beacon light for the affluent parents hailing from larger metros who gratify their children with opulence guided by the wrong notion that the material goods would aid them in getting to the summit of things. Challenges should be thrown at the younger generation allowing them to come out on their own. Thus strengthening their mental toughness and confidence thereby creating more “Hima Das”.